Section 8 Review
Remember when Section 8 came out on the 360? Me neither. The game's release was like one of those movies that only seem to be in theaters for a single weekend. There was an average amount of hype leading up to launch and – poof – it was off the mainstream radar and on store shelves. Now, more than a few months later, the game has been released not as a disc-based product, but as a download available through the PS3's PSN Store. Red flags all over the place, right? Believe it or not, Section 8 isn't a bad game, nor is it a throwaway port of a once-exclusive title. Online FPS fans could have a lot of fun with this one, but unfortunately, some of the developer's choices sidetracked what could have been a must-own title. Were it a movie, Section 8 would have enjoyed at least a few weekends of wide release, rather than the gone-before-you-know-it single weekend runtime flops tend to warrant (ahem Dragonball: Evolution).
Section 8's biggest selling point turned out to be it's largest fault; this game was designed to be played online, and a single player campaign, while present, was shuffled into the background in favor of beefing up the multiplayer. Big mistake. First off, with huge series like Halo and Modern Warfare easily dominating the online scene, jumping into the pool with what is essentially half a game probably wasn't the best call. Even worse, though, is that when you begin playing Section 8, you'll immediately see the potential it had for being a top-notch first person adventure in the vein of the Metroid Prime series, rather than just the meh online-only shooter it actually is.
But let's not dwell on what could have been. Section 8, despite its faults, is a well-executed, fun shooter with an above average presentation and jetpacks. Yes, jetpacks. We'll get to those pretty soon.
Being that the game is multiplayer-focused, you won't find much of a narrative behind the deathmatches, but the previously mentioned single player mini campaign does fill in a few blanks when it comes to explaining why all these space soldiers hate each other so much. Again, this is a missed opportunity; the universe of Section 8 has a good deal of potential, and the single player is a tantalizing taste of what should have been. And I do mean "taste," as the length of this campaign makes those found in Halo: ODST and Modern Warfare 2 look like Final Fantasy games.